Roku adds private listening for multiple viewers

Grown-ups can watch movies while the kids sleep.

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Jon Fingas
April 24th, 2018
In this article: android, av, gear, ios, privatelistening, roku, rokuos
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

Many living room media players support headphones to let one person watch videos without disrupting anyone. But that's not how it always works. What if you want to watch Netflix with your spouse when the kids are sleeping, or catch up on YouTube with a friend while your roommate is studying? Roku will have you covered. On top of its new support for live news, it's promising a Roku OS 8.1 update that enables private listening for up to four additional people using the company's Android and iOS apps. That's not enough to support a big house party, but it'll probably handle most instances when you want to keep quiet.

The 8.1 release will come in May as a staggered release that will take weeks to complete. While that could be an agonizing wait, it'll give Roku a decided advantage over competitors that limit you to solo listening for those late night sessions. It won't be surprising if competitors follow suit.

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